Lord's Bicentennial match 2014 July 4, 2014

Bevan's best, and a combined Indo-Pak team

A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches

Pakistan v India, Peshawar, 1989

Sachin Tendulkar had announced his arrival in international cricket in the four Tests that preceded the one-dayers, but he saved his most emphatic statement of his debut series for a match that wasn't even deemed official. Poor light in Peshawar forced the first one-dayer to be abandoned without a ball bowled, but in order to appease the crowd, the organisers managed to squeeze in a 20-over exhibition game. Pakistan posted 157, but a struggling chase was given a lift by the promising 16-year-old. Abdul Qadir had bowled a maiden to Kris Srikkanth and at the end of the over told Tendulkar to treat him like any other bowler and not be overawed by his presence. It was aimed to build his confidence. Tendulkar did as he was told. India needed nearly 14 an over in the last five and Tendulkar had just smashed Mushtaq Ahmed for two sixes. Qadir's words fired him up further. Qadir's over read - 6,0,4,6,6,6. Tendulkar smashed an astonishing 18-ball 53 and India fell short by just four runs. Tendulkar was yet to make his ODI debut. His captain Srikkanth reportedly said later that evening, "The little bugger must play now." He debuted two days later.

Asia XI v Rest of the World XI, Dhaka, 2000

The ICC picked April 2-9, 2000 to celebrate the ICC Cricket Week but its timing couldn't have been worse. The celebrations and events were jolted with the outbreak of the game's greatest scandal - the Hansie Cronje match-fixing controversy. A 50-over match between Asia XI and Rest of the World XI was played in the backdrop of this saga and the ICC did well to organise the match in cricket-mad Bangladesh. The Bangabandhu National Stadium was packed to capacity, proving there was faith left in the game. The fans were treated to a high-scoring thriller. Asia XI posted an imposing 320, led by Sachin Tendulkar's 80. Rest of the World's chase was the story of one man - Michael Bevan. They were 196 for seven before Bevan and Caddick came together. They were still at the crease when Rest of the World needed 20 off the final over, and Bevan hit three consecutive boundaries off Abdul Razzaq to threaten a heist. ROW fell short by a run and Bevan's contribution was an astonishing 185 off just 132 balls. The next highest scorer was Mark Waugh (28). Caddick, who put on 119 with Bevan, scored 23.

Asia XI v ICC World XI, World Cricket Tsunami Appeal, MCG, 2005

Just days after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami devastated South Asia, a fund-raising one-dayer was organised at the MCG and deemed an official match to encourage a competitive flavour. There was plenty at stake - each run earned US$760 for the cause and each six US$38,000. In the end, 576 runs were scored and seven hits cleared the boundary and Bob Merriman, Cricket Australia's chairman, presented a cheque in excess of A$14million to World Vision. The ICC World XI were carried to a massive 344 thanks to Ricky Ponting (115), Brian Lara (52) and Chris Cairns (69). Asia XI's innings lasted just under 40 overs and they conceded the game by 112 runs. A better showing would have brought in more cash but with more than 70000 filling the seats, both players and fans united for a common cause.

MCC v Rest of the World XI, Princess of Wales Memorial Match, Lord's, 1998

Nearly a year after Princess Diana's death in a car accident, a star-studded 50-over charity match was organised at Lord's to raise money for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Two composite sides were picked and Tendulkar, playing for the Rest of the World (ROW), was in the form of his life. Having hammered Shane Warne just months earlier, Tendulkar, not surprisingly, was the biggest drawcard at Lord's. Shivnarine Chanderpaul's 127 lifted MCC to a competitive 261, before Tendulkar cut the target to size. The match may have lacked a competitive flavour, but the individual brilliance of Tendulkar more than made up for it. Tendulkar took 22 off an Aamer Sohail over on his way to 125 and with Aravinda de Silva (82) giving him company, ROW knocked off the target in just 43.3 overs. The match also coincided with WG Grace's 150th birth anniversary and Michael Atherton, captaining MCC, said at the presentation: "WG Grace wouldn't have batted as well as Tendulkar did today."

Wills XI (Ind/Pak) v Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1996

The pull-outs by West Indies and Australia shortly before the World Cup due to the security fears in Sri Lanka was a blow to the country hosting its first major global cricketing event. The civil war with the separatist LTTE hadn't abated, but in order to prove that the country was safe to tour, the co-hosts India and Pakistan played a one-off exhibition match in Colombo as a gesture of solidarity, a day before the tournament began. It was the first time India and Pakistan played as a combined team, against the hosts. Sri Lanka managed only 168 for 9 in their 40 overs and the target was easily achieved by Wills XI, who won by four wickets. It was a match remembered not for the quality of cricket but for the players' commitment to a cause of a different kind. Thousands flocked to the R Premadasa Stadium and though Sri Lanka lost, the crowd was only too happy to be a part of this occasion.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chandamouli on July 6, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Refer this Match played for Kallis Foundation - Charity between India and South Africa, and the most recent I reckon!!!


  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    Phew! I remember most of the matches (and also Cricinfo's old web site ). By the way any one remeber India Vs WestIndies master series? I think they played two 5 match series or something in the 90s..It was the first time i saw all the old legends playing and I really enjoyed the match! :)

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Abdul Qadir at the end of the over told Tendulkar "to treat him like any other bowler and not be overawed by his presence". It was aimed to build his confidence. This must have made Tendulkar so bold in picking his shots and the reason selectors picked him in playing XI and a great career started with the help of Abdul Qadir words.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    There was one match in Hyderabad naa in the late 90s, at the new stadium i guess.

  • Chandamouli on July 5, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    Oops!!! Sorry everybody! I'd mistaken Afro-Asia Match with Exhibition Matches.

    But that Asia XI vs Africa XI was an Exciting Match, given how Dhoni And Mahela played!!!

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    I think the hype for today's match is more compared to the others so far (as far as I remember) may be because of the fact that it's the first match Sachin is playing after his retirement and also the fact that Shane Warne is in the opposite team. I still remember the ROW vs Australia (ICC Super Series). Even though international players get together thro IPL, BBL and other leagues nowadays, matches like these are definitely a class apart and always fun. A true cricket fan would definitely enjoy these moments.

  • S on July 5, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    BCCI Platinum Jubilee Match in 2004 was an exciting match too - http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/66384.html

  • NIKHIL on July 5, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    There was a match between MCC and i don't recall the 2nd team , one team comprises Fleming , Smith , Ganguly and Gayle the best left handers and other team had Dravid , Sehwag , Lara . The match was entertaining and seeing arc rivals play agaunst each other is fun . World series between Australia and ROW was quite entertaining but even ROW couldn't beat the great Australian team in 2005. Love these thype of matches

  • samriddha on July 5, 2014, 3:34 GMT

    these exhibition matches,the afro asia cups,world champs vs world XI are the matches we miss. Because of domestic t20 leagues, icc cant fit in series like these into their calender and i bet these would be much more interesting to watch for a true cricket fan than the franchise based cricket leagues.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 2:45 GMT

    @chandramouli.G- Yeah, you're absolutely right, I never knew about that match, thank you for providing the link, I just checked the commentary and imagined how the match was, Dhoni and Mahela were absolutely brilliant..

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